•    SanTan Wheelie Jam 04/23/2011   

    Headed out from my place early with Leslie to catch the train to downtown Phoenix for the first annual SanTan Wheelie Jam. An event put on by Tempe Bicycle Action Group (T.B.A.G.) with the assistance of SanTan Brewery.

    A quick stop for breakfast at the Tempe Market, and then onto the lightrail, which we had just enough time to buy our passes and get on.

    Breakfast with Leslie at the lightrail station.Once we arrived at the park we found our way to the volunteer sign in where our jobs were assigned. I was given the task of hanging a banner announcing the beginning of the parade location. Then, I was sent off with little to work with. Evidently I placed the banner in the completely wrong spot. Great. When I made it back to the park grounds, I heard over a walkie-talkie, “Did the guy with the tie-dye shirt get that banner hung?” I had, but I was almost too embarrassed to tell them I did it. I eventually met up with Joe Perez who helped me hang the banner in the correct place.

    Parade Launch bannerLeslie was given a job at the beer ticket tent so I hung out with her there, watching eager beer tasters buy tickets. The selling of tickets started before the parade, which was scheduled for 11:45 sharp, but no beer to be poured before noon.

    As in the above picture of the Parade Launch sign, my job for the day pretty much was completed right in time for the parade to start. It was basically a technicality at that point because most of the parade riders were already lining up where they were supposed to be. Still as of today I have not heard the final number of people signed up for the parade, but I believe it was about 150 riders.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The first person to buy drink tickets (before the parade), was also the first person in the beer garden and on the mini-trikes SanTan brought.

    Lots of really cool looking bikes, great beer and good music made the 2011 Wheelie Jam an awesome success. I met many great new positive people who all, like me, will be looking forward to next years’ event which I’m sure will be even bigger and better than this year.

    Black Cactus Records present:  Necronauts

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  •    newditty.net relaunched   

    In 2003-2004 New Ditty was our band and we played around the Tempe area. No jam ever sounded the same. We made sure by making recordings of everything onto cassette tape through our mixer. It often times did sound as if we were leveled to what the sound would end up being on tape rather than what it would be to an audience or even to ourselves. We then spent countless hours piecing through the tapes to digitizing them. With still MANY more physical tapes to go through I have managed to make most of what was transferred available through the old NewDitty.NET website which I’ve just recently relaunched. It’s not pretty, but it serves its purpose.

    New Ditty

  •    .:Tucson:. – a tale of music and mayhem   

    It’s a continuous debate as to what is causing the rift between Phoenix and Tucson on so many levels. Skateboarding and music are two of the scenes I generally subscribe to, so they are the only ones I can even logically start to form an opinion on. I don’t have it completely pinned as of yet, but I did come to a few new revelations about the city  some 100 miles to our south on a recent visit.

    It had been some time since the last time I had made the trek. From the best I can remember, I was then following music, as we were again this trip to see O’Death. A bluegrass-y / hardcore punk  group from New York. The rift in music was evident here as O’Death, among many other groups, were making a stop in Tucson before completely bypassing the rest of Arizona and heading into California on a northern west coast tour. Seeing that this was the case, we decided it would be worth heading down, and on a Monday. Plus, we could kill some time checking out the local skatepark that we’d heard so much about. This is were the second rift comes in. Tucson, the second largest major city in Arizona, has two (2) skateparks. Here in Phoenix, within a 20 mile radius, we have close to twenty (20). This is not a debate about which parks are better than which, or what city is better than the other for skating, or any of that. It’s simply pointing out how unbalanced it all seems.

    Chuck had never been to Tucson in the 7 years he’s lived in the Valley. I told him that it would be like a trip to Bizarre-O World and that we may even encounter our Doppelganger. Meaning, Tucson is definitely a city where your evil twin may be living. At least don’t completely discount it, because that’s when it’ll happen. When you’ve least expected it.

    We really had little to no agenda as we pulled into town around noon other than trying to get a hotel room relatively close to the venue, as stumbling drunk was eminent. The Hotel Congress is so centrally located, that it didn’t make sense to try and get a room anywhere else. Lucky us! There just happened to be one room left. But, it was directly above their club, where Monday night is 80′s Dance Party! Made no difference to us, as we figured we’d probably be out until the party was over anyhow. The sign showing $1-You-call-it for the dance party, made the idea of the whole thing so much more tolerable.

    After an unnecessary amount of time and problems with the check-in, and a few cocktails at the bar, we got into our room. Nice one too. Looking down onto Congress Ave at the marquee of The Rialto Theater. EOTO was in town there. I had forgotten about that after seeing them the night before in Tempe.

    We headed out to Santa Rita skatepark to check out “the giant egg bowl” which happens to be just a few back streets from downtown. Easy enough to find, but in what looks to be a fairly sketchy piece of town. Definitely would feel a little uneasy after dark there if someone came walking up to me. We really weren’t feeling the vibe of the park too much. Could have had something to do with the two kids smoking their tweeker-pipe as we pulled up. Either way, we really just wanted to get in a couple of turns in the bowls before a total meltdown from dealing with the hotel staff. No pics or video of skateboarding came from the trip as were probably only spent about an hour trying to find our lines through the three bowls. Maybe next time.

    We headed back into town and got burgers at Lindy’s on 4th. Pretty damn good burgers too. A solid foundation for what would be a heavy night of boozing.

    Back to the hotel to get ready for the evening. Then to the hotel bar (again) for a few more cocktails a-la pre-gaming. Good conversation with the bartender about the show we were about to see and of Eddie Spaghetti of the Supersuckers who had supposedly played a solo acoustic set a few days prior on the patio of the hotel. Really cool. Eddie is a Tucson local, or was.

    On to the show. O’death was not the headliner of the show and I’m not certain why not. The headliner was billed as The Strange Boys. We stayed for about three songs into their set when we realized they were not for us. Throw a bluegrass / punk band in the middle of two hipster-indie groups and call it a show I guess. We did meet a few cool people though at the bar who happened to also be from the Tempe area and who were also staying at the same hotel as us. O’death was amazing though. I made sure to tell the guys in the group that the next time they come through Arizona, make at least a stop in Tempe. We rocked out to their short set from right up front. I got at least one good picture and made a recording of two of their songs. One new from their soon-to-be-release 4th album “Outside” called Black Dress. I also have video, but for some reason my camera is displaying the video upside down, so I’ve stripped the audio tracks and have them posted below.

    O’Death – Fire On Peshtigo (live 2011-03-21)
    O’Death – Black Dress (live 2011-03-21)

    The O’Death set was over and done well before we wanted it to be and the drinks up to that point were starting to take hold when we stumbled out of the venue and back towards the hotel. As we turned the corner onto Congress I remember seeing the marquee with EOTO on it. I told Chuck that we should try and get in for 2-for-1. The guy at the door let us both in for $5 a piece. Not bad after paying $18 the night before in Tempe. Again, a fairly empty auditorium. We went right up front.

     

     

     

     

     

    After EOTO we stumbled across to the street to the 80′s Dance Party. This is where the night starts to become super hazy for me. The only few things I remember were $1 Whiskey rocks, and security not kicking us out. The next was waking up in bed.

    All in all, a good trip. Odd, but good. My post on Facebook when I got home went something along the lines of “Not in jail, not dead, but definitely not going back to Tucson anytime in the near future.”. That pretty much sums it up. Thanks to O’Death, EOTO, Hotel Congress staff, Plush, and Rialto Theater for not feeding us to ravenous hounds.

  •    EOTO live @ The Marquee 3/20/2011   

    The following snippet is a brief review of the evening as was written immediately after arriving home from the venue. It is also incomplete.

    Headed down to the Marquee tonight to see EOTO. I realized right away I could easily be doomed as I turned prematurely on my walk and ended up walking down Mill Ave. Evasive maneuvers were taken and all ended up alright until I came to the bridge at Tempe Beach Park were some festival with terrible music and thousands of people. I turned the music up in my headphones and took the last shot of Captain Morgans I had in my pocket.

    When I got my ticket, the girls at the door were chatting about how few people were actually there. They had no idea who EOTO was anyway. I briefly informed them and then went inside. I was surprised when I was one of the maybe 50 people there, and 30 of them were outside smoking. The doors to the show had opened two hours previously, but no music was being played yet.

    Zebbler’s group started the night out with some decent wobblings and an interesting visual show being played on a giant screen behind them. Why nude images of both the guys in the group were projected at different times during their set? That’s a question I’m not sure anyone can really answer. Beyond that, the reviews of their visualization sets are true. Pretty cool stuff. The group themselves were at best “good”. After seeing Excision at the same venue within the last few weeks, the sound just wasn’t there for me with these guys. It then became apparent that they were also controlling the visual show all at the same time, which was excellent, so it evened itself out.

  •    EOTO Live at Marquee Theatre 3/20/2011   

    Drummers Michael Travis and Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident) bring their electronic music project, EOTO back to Tempe. $15. They generalize themselves as “100% Live Improvisational Dubstep, House, Electro.”

    Watch This Video!

    More Info

     

  •    Flathead @ The Sail Inn – Saturday 03/12/2011   

    This past Saturday was filled to the brim with good stuff to get into. A text I sent during the day to Jared says, “I’m filling today with radness!” And, I did.

    After meeting John Cardiel at Cowtown, I cruised over to The Sail Inn to see Flathead play an outside daytime gig. I did manage to record a few of the songs they played with video, but the video portion isn’t great due to trippy psychedelic visualizations. But, the audio is posted below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    MP3s:
    Flathead – 2011-03-12 – Hitch
    Flathead – 2011-03-12 – M.I.A.

  •    O’ Death at Plush in Tucson!! 03/21/2011   

    O’Death at Plush in Tucson!! 03/21/2011

    “O’Death… draws from the starkness and spiritual purity of Appalachian folk, the noisemongering of punk and the rowdy theatricality of Tom Waits. With quiet pluckings of banjo and angry, anarchic hollers, its songs jumble the sacred and profane.” – The New York TimeO'Death in Tucsons

    “O’Death… brings to mind the Pogues jamming with Wall of Voodoo.” – All Music Guide

    “O’Death howls like Neil Young and hollers like Tom Waits” – Spin

    “Picture Tom Waits and Iggy Pop together in a musical touring edition of Deliverance and you might come close to figuring out what I’m talking about.” – Treblezine
    http://www.plushtucson.com/shows.html?start_date=2011-03-21

    Lowtide by O’Death